We enjoyed an incredible 2015 and we hope you did too, complete with more than 750 junior handball clinics, numerous junior handball competitions and a number of incredible matches; our video cameras were there for most of the action. In Fact, choosing just 10 top moments was nearly impossible for us, but we gave it a college-try anyway.
Enjoy 2015’s fifth and sixth best moments!
6. WPH Broadcast of the 2015 World Handball Championships: Men’s Quarterfinals
The 2015 World Handball Championships Men’s Quarterfinals produced the best 10 consecutive hours of live handball in the history of WPH handball broadcasting with four spectacular quarterfinal matches. In the afternoon’s first quarterfinal match, Killian Carroll rebounded from what started as a blowout, trailing 16-3 just 12 minutes into game one. Carroll rallied to win game two to force a tiebreaker and shocked Moreno to win a sensational 11-9 thriller.
Robbie McCarthy and Sean Lenning met for just the second time in the second quarterfinal and staged an unforgettable classic. Splitting the first two games, neither McCarthy nor Lenning would relent in the decider, with each executing flawless serves and kills. McCarthy reached 10-7 in the tiebreaker and seemingly on the verge of a semifinal appearance but Lenning earned a side out and scored three consecutive points to arrive at his first match point at 10-10. In one of the most bizarre endings in recent big match history, McCarthy’s left-hand fist to the ceiling attempt hit just inches below the ceiling and caromed high off the back wall and bounced into the front left corner. Unable to take a full swing as the ball nearly bounced into the front wall, Lenning was barely able to return what appeared was going to be a match-ending setup opportunity. McCarthy executed a two-wall pass off of Lenning’s return and served out the match on the next rally to win 11-10.
Former R48 finalist Diarmaid Nash met frequent rival and R48 top four pro Emmett Peixoto in the next quarterfinal and methodically and systematically took “The Rock” apart in two games, playing the best handball of the afternoon in the process.
4-time defending world champion Paul Brady faced seasoned rival and former R48 #1 Charly Shanks in the final quarterfinal of the afternoon in Canada. After taking game one convincingly, Brady found himself trailing 19-13 in game two in a stunning reversal against the power serving and gritty two-time R48 champion. Shanks stalled at 19, as Brady scored the final eight points of the contest to continue his quest for five consecutive world titles.
For a full recap on the four thrilling matches, click here
5. WPH Women’s Race 4 Eight III Stop #1 Simple Green U.S. Open Women’s Final: Aisling Reilly vs. Catriona Casey
Appearing in 2015’s WPH Top 10 for the second time, Catriona Casey and Aisling Reilly is simply the rivalry that never disappoints. Regarded as the best rivalry in handball, Casey and Reilly have faced one another in the finals of every major women’s 4-Wall event since 2013, with both ladies enjoying their share of successes on the world stage. Coming off a devastating tiebreaker defeat that saw Aisling Reilly capture her second consecutive World Handball Championship in August, Catriona Casey was eager to erase that memory and maintain her undefeated WR48 record in the finals of the 2015 Simple Green U.S. Open two months later. Casey was in complete control in game one, scoring effortlessly taking control of the match. As Reilly has demonstrated in the past, a subpar first game is no indication of the outcome, as Reilly roared back in game two to force a tiebreaker. In a rivalry that is as famous for its great play and dramatic finishes as it is for its contentious nature, both Casey and Reilly were on edge on the tiebreaker. With neither superstar able to seize the momentum in the decider and the match was hanging in the balance at the two-hour mark at 9-9, Reilly patiently waited for her opportunities and executed, scoring the final two points of the match to end Casey’s seven-tournament undefeated WR48 streak and claim the 2015 Simple Green U.S. Open.
For a full recap on the match, click here